Sunday, October 05, 2014
Steve, I Don't Know How to Tell You This. Bombing Isn't Working.
That didn't take long. Iraqi Kurds report that ISIS has changed tactics to blunt the impact of allied air strikes. Who, aside from just about anybody, could have foreseen that turn of events?
Air strikes against Isis targets in northern Syria have failed to stop the militants from advancing towards the centre of the city of Kobani, Kurds have said, in the latest indication that aerial power alone may not defeat the jihadists.
Fighting between the Islamist militants and Syrian Kurds continued unabated despite another volley of coalition air strikes in and around the Kobani enclave, Idris Nassan, Kobani’s “foreign affairs minister”, told the Guardian.
“Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat Isis in Kobani,” he stressed. “They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every Isis fighter on the ground.”
He said Isis had adapted their tactics to military strikes from the air. “Each time a jet approaches they leave their open positions, they scatter and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them.”
INTERMISSION - Act 2 - "Mission Creep"
Already the American hawks, such as the delightful Ms. Lindsay Graham, are calling for a Western ground war.
“The strategy of aerial bombardment is not going to work to destroy Isil [Isis],” the South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham told CNN. “At the end of the day, you cannot destroy Isil without a ground component.” He argued that training the inexperienced fighters of the Free Syrian Army in Saudi Arabia was “militarily unsound” and “will lead to their slaughter”.
His words were echoed in London by the former chief of the defence staff general Sir David Richards. “Air power alone will not win a campaign like this,” he told the Andrew Marr Show. “It isn’t actually a counter-terrorist operation. This is a conventional enemy in that it has armour, tanks, artillery, it is quite wealthy, it holds ground and it is going fight. So therefore you have to view it as a conventional military campaign.”
GEORGE MONBIOT - "Flatten the Middle East"
Trust George to beat us over the head with our own hypocrisy. In his latest commentary, George shows how our casus belli, our justification for war against ISIS, would serve equally to justify flattening all or at least most of the Middle East to save the lives of its people.
The humanitarian arguments aired in parliament last week, if consistently applied, could be used to flatten the entire Middle East and west Asia. By this means you could end all human suffering, liberating the people of these regions from the vale of tears in which they live.
Perhaps this is the plan: Barack Obama has now bombed seven largely Muslim countries, in each case citing a moral imperative. The result, as you can see in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan,Yemen, Somalia and Syria, has been the eradication of jihadi groups, of conflict, chaos, murder, oppression and torture. Evil has been driven from the face of the Earth by the destroying angels of the west.
Now we have a new target, and a new reason to dispense mercy from the sky, with similar prospects of success. Yes, the agenda and practices of Isis are disgusting. It murders and tortures, terrorises and threatens. As Obama says, it is a “network of death”. But it’s one of many networks of death. Worse still, a western crusade appears to be exactly what Isis wants.
Already Obama’s bombings have brought Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra, a rival militia affiliated to al-Qaida, together. More than 6,000 fighters have joined Isis since the bombardment began. They dangled the heads of their victims in front of the cameras as bait for war planes. And our governments were stupid enough to take it.
And if the bombing succeeds? If – and it’s a big if – it manages to tilt the balance against Isis, what then? Then we’ll start hearing once more about Shia death squads and the moral imperative to destroy them too – and any civilians who happen to get in the way. The targets change; the policy doesn’t. Never mind the question, the answer is bombs. In the name of peace and the preservation of life, our governments wage perpetual war.